Chelsea Supporters’ Trust warns of ‘irreversible toxicity’ over communication and ticket prices


Chelsea have been warned by Chelsea Supporters’ Trust (CST) that a lack of communication with supporters and matchday price hikes risk leading to “irreversible toxicity” at matches.

CST wrote a letter to the club detailing their concerns on March 8, six days after travelling Chelsea fans chanted against co-owner Todd Boehly and head coach Mauricio Pochettino while singing the names of Roman Abramovich and Jose Mourinho during a 2-2 draw with Brentford at the Gtech Stadium.

In the letter, addressed to Boehly and Clearlake Capital co-founder Behdad Eghbali, the CST board claimed that the feeling among Chelsea’s match-going supporters has reached its lowest point since the early 1980s, and called on the club to work more closely with them to improve relations — while cautioning against significant rises in season ticket prices for next season.

“The current mood amongst supporters is critically low and cannot be ignored,” the CST said. “The feeling that the club has become a ‘laughing stock’, both on and off the pitch, is growing.

“The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust regretfully believes that we are close to, if not already experiencing, a significant shift in supporter opinion that could result in irreversible toxicity, almost irrespective of results on the pitch.

“Unless the situation improves, this seems likely to manifest itself in more targeted chanting, especially at televised games, and quite possibly more organised, overt, and impactful forms of protest by some sections of the fanbase.”

The CST letter also detailed a number of matchday price rises that have riled supporters, including tickets for cup, women’s team and youth team matches and the cost of a shirt, programme and food and drink inside Stamford Bridge. Chelsea’s decision to end a long-running subsidy for coach travel to away games has also proven deeply unpopular.

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Many fans are braced for Chelsea to significantly raise the price of general admission season tickets, which have remained frozen for more than a decade, ahead of the 2024-25 season.

But citing cost-of-living challenges in the United Kingdom as well as the club’s underperformance on the pitch, the CST warned: “We believe that any significant ticketing price increase at this time would be extremely unwise and, that all other ideas around price points or changes to senior concessions should be considered at a later date.”

In a written response published by the CST dated March 20, Chelsea chief executive Chris Jurasek reiterated the club’s commitment to existing channels of engagement with supporters, including the fan advisory board and frequent fans’ forum meetings.

Jurasek did not, however, respond directly to the CST’s specific request for greater communication with a wider group of fans and, while stressing that Chelsea will take a “holistic approach” to decisions about match day costs, he did not rule out further price rises.

“Our goal is the same as your goal: to ensure Chelsea Football Club has a bright and successful future,” he wrote. “To do so, there is a necessity to increase club revenue to put us on a par with our rivals and allow us to compete in both the Premier League and Women’s Super League, as well as in domestic and European competitions.

“There are several ways we are already doing that and will further explore.”

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(Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)





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